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Created On 20 May 1998
Last Updated On 20 May 1998
Copyright (c) Simon E. Phipp 1998
In the GodTime, many deities lived their own lives, not affecting the major events, just living and surviving the best they could. One of these was Orlanth's Ram. When Heler captured his sheep from the Water Tribe, he showed them to Orlanth, his Lord. Orlanth looked at the sheep, beheld their beauty and desired them above all else. His desire took form and leaped from his loins into the new herd, tupping each and every one of the sheep in the form of a great white ram. Orlanth looked at the deed and made amends to Heler by entrusting the Herd to his son Voriof who was then known as the Shepherd. Part of Voriof's job was to keep Orlanth's Ram in check.
Orlanth's Ram was a combination of Sheep and Storm. Its fleece was white and fluffy, like the clouds of Heler. Its horns were immense spirals, copies of the Storm Rune. Its nature was lusty as was the nature of the Storm Gods. It lived in the Rockwoods and spent its time leaping from peak to peak. It had been known to have leapt further - once it leaped to pay homage to King Sartar and left behind a son, a stone Ram to guard his Temple.
Now, Orlanth's Ram may be summoned to leap and carry others along with it, allowing people to magically travel
The Ram's Leaps
Orlanth's Ram made many leaps from peak to peak in the Rockwoods, occasionally leaping away into Peloria or the Eastern Rockwoods.
Skilful magicians may use the Ram's abilities to travel with it when it leaps. These are the Magic Roads of Orlanth's Ram.
Heroes of the Ram
These are people who have ridden with Orlanth's Ram as it leaps through God Time. They can then make these Magic Roads available to others.
Normally, Heroes of the Ram use a HeroQuest ritual to enter the God Time at the starting point of the Leap. This is at a place where the Ram has been known to have visited. They perform a Calling of the Ram and await the Ram's arrival. Whilst waiting they are often attacked or encounter the magical denizens of the God Plane. When the Ram appears, the Questors need to hitch a ride, either hanging onto the fleece or riding the Ram. Then the Ram leaps to a new destination. Unless the Questors have a way of controlling the Ram it will leap to a random destination. There the Questors may meet the denizens of that place.
The Ram will continue to leap to a random location, although all destinations are places where the Ram is known to have visited. At any time the Questors may dismount and end the HeroQuest. They then have access to the HeroPath travelled and may create a Magic Road HeroQuest incorporating each of the Leaps made by the Ram. Followers of a Hero of the Ram may also learn the Magic Road. Since most people have no way of controlling the Ram, the Heroes of the Ram take pot luck in creating the Magic Road. Often they stay on until the Ram reaches a place close to their preferred destination as there is no guarantee that the correct destination will be reached.
One HeroQuestor, Karin Moonchaser, tried to attack the new Red moon when it first arose. He Called the Ram from the Rockwoods, sat between its horns and used of his Gifts from Orlanth to command the ram to leap to the Top of the World, then he used another Gift from Orlanth to command it to leap to the Moon. However, the Ram was forced away by an array of Moonbeams which nearly gelded it. From that time onwards Karin Moonchaser and his followers could never call or ride on Orlanth's Ram.
The Ram Leaps
Once a Hero of the Ram has created the HeroPath his followers can sacrifice for the HeroQuest. This allows them to travel from the starting point to the destinations on the Quest.
The Quest is begun and the Ram is summoned from the starting point. The Questors ride the Ram, sometimes on its back, sometimes clinging to its fleece. The Ram then leaps to the next location where the Questors encounter the denizens of that location.
People may leave the Ram at any setting down point. Each leap takes approximately 1 day.
Orlanth's Ram is known to have leaped to many places. Some of these places are often visited, some are rarely visited. Where the ram often visits it is far easier to find a Path which touches that location. For instance, only one Quest is known where Orlanth's Ram leaps to the mountains near Boldhome, but it is known to leap to the Top of the World in at least 6 ways from many other locations.
When the Ram leaps to a destination, the Questors meet the denizens of the location. The same denizens are not always met and their reaction is not always the same.
Here is a brief list of the locations the Ram has leapt to and some of the denizens of those places that have been encountered in the past.
Deep in the Southern Rockwoods this lies near the borders of Halikiv. It takes its name from the Spirit who lives there in a solitary fashion. Encounters here include Fear Spirits, Shades, trolls, Hell Hounds and the Hag. These can be driven off by bright lights, although once the Hell Hounds taste blood they must be killed. The Hag cannot be driven off and will demand gifts from the Questors. If the gifts are not given she will possess each of the Questors with a Fear Spirit of POW = 2x Questor's POW.
One of the peaks in the massive containing the Top of the World mountain, Blue Rock is made up of a stone found nowhere else. It is said that the Blue Rock fell from the Sky in the God Time. A tribe of men live around the mountain and, although they take wives, no children are ever born to them. When the Ram lands on Blue Rock it is met by a number of Blue Women who will attempt to mate with the male Questors. Any male Questor who fails a Chaste roll will mate with a Blue Woman, those who wish to mate do not need to make a roll. These matings always result in sons born who join the tribe around Blue Rock. It is said that these Blue Women are the children of Blue Rock itself.
These are ancient lakes, remnants of the invasion of the waters in Godtime. It is said the lakes were sisters who invaded the Rockwoods. One made war on a son of Lodril and was thrown to one side. The other came to help, fell in love with the volcano and filled the crater with her body. Ever since, the volcano has been dormant with two lakes in its crater. One is hot and fiery, full of geysers and poisons. The other is warm and gentle, never harsh, full of healing salts.
Encounters here include geysers and hostile waterspouts, undines, naiads and Trilini, sometimes waves of acid or poison, poison gas etc. Occasionally, the inhabitants of the lakes will band together and create a magical net to try and capture the Ram. If this succeeds the Quest ends here in capture. Nobody knows why they try to capture the Ram.
Sitting between Ralios and Aggar, this is a small hill made of a translucent green stone. The stone is said to be the body of an Earth Spirit. When the Ram arrives here it lands on the Rock and rests for a while. The only known encounter here is a Green Woman who appears to each of the Questors and gives them a small green stone which screams loudly if Chaos comes nearby.
Supposedly formed when a piece of the Red Moon was torn off during Sheng Seleris' attack. The Ram has only been here a few times. Encounters include Madness Spirits, Lunes, Lunar HeroQuestors, an entity known as The Dancer who leads the Questors on an ecstatic dance for an hour, increasing their Illumination chance by their POW, and an entity known as the Red Leaper who will teach Questors how to leap to the Red Moon in return for their left eye and their left breast if female and their left testicle if male.
Sacred to Orlanth, this peak marks the border of Dorastor and sits between Dorastor and Bilini. Encounters here may include Orlanthi warriors, Uroxi, Orlanthi HeroQuestors, Lunar adventurers, or chaotic monstrosities from Dorastor.
Situated in the SkyReach Mountains, this peak is the home to an eyrie of Wind Children whose Storm Spirit ancestor helped the Ram in the GodTime. The normal encounter here is a group of Wind Children but occasionally Questors meet the Ancestor himself, a huge Sylph who may take the Questors to another destination if they have the correct spells.
The Ram only ever leaps to Cliffhome from Hag Mountain and only when it has met the Hag. The only encounter here is Cragspider who will exorcise the Fear Spirits in return for the acceptance of a geas "Never harm a Spider unless first attacked by the Spider". If the geas is broken then the Fear Spirit will return with twice its original POW. Note that the Ram does not always leap to Cliffhome from Hag Mountain.
This is a small lake near High llama Pass which has a single species of fish living in it. This was the result of a God Time pact where the godling known as Silver Fish offered to protect a Naiad who had become lost in the Rockwoods. She lay down in the mountains and Silver Fish dived into her body, creating a number of children. Some of the children became small Silver Fishes, the rest became people who lived on the banks by fishing and eating their relatives. The Ram never has an encounter here.
Occasionally, Orlanth's Ram will make a leap to Orlanth's Clouds. Here it will meet with a number of Voriof's Sheep and will tup them enthusiastically. The lusty nature of this deed will cause the Questors to become inflamed with desire - they must make a Chaste roll or try to couple with each other. If the Questors are mixed sex then the males will generally tup the females. If single sex, they will touch the others. They will prefer to tup those who failed the Chaste roll but this is not necessary. All resulting different-sex coupling will result in pregnancy and will produce healthy twins with a lusty nature.
The HeroQuests of the Ram are very useful for fast travel around Glorantha. Even if a journey takes 4 or 5 leaps, one may travel from Dorastor to Sartar, for instance, in 4 or 5 days. This is an immense improvement over normal travel. If the Questor knows of the right Quest he may cut down the journey time considerably. A Questor knowing more than one Quest may well be able to change the Quest Path in order to travel a better route. For instance, a Questor who knows a Leap from Thunder Mountain to Blue Rock to Green Rock to Hag Mountain to Cliffhome and also from Cliffhome to Two Lakes may combine the Quests to travel from Thunder Mountain to Two Lakes taking 5 days.
Leaps of the Ram are HeroQuest Rituals costing 5 POW to learn. Each individual component Stage costs 3 POW to learn and allows Questors to mix and match paths if necessary. For instance, if the above Questor also knows leaps from Blue Rock to Red Peak to Silver Fish then it may be possible to leap from Thunder Mountain to Blue Rock and then change the Quest to leap to Red Peak, but only if he knows the Blue Rock to Red Peak Stage. Thus, he would have to know three HeroQuests and a single Stage at a cost of 18 POW. This is a major investment in POW, even for HeroQuestors.